I’m a huge Bomber fan. But the one team that I do not want to ever take for granted is Calgary. And even though they’re not the juggernaut from a few years back, they still know what it’s like to win. Good coaching. Good QB. Good team mindset. The window may be closing, but the core that dominated a few years back still has pride. And it would not surprise me to seem them represent the West out in Hamilton. Like I said…I love my Bombers. But never poke the bear…that’s still a very good football team out in Calgary.
Fully agree but how is the window closing on Calgary? Not a Stamp fan but the 2 rosters with the most starters 31 & over are Winnipeg & Hamilton. The Blue have been building to a Cup since 2013 & finally won one. Now you got Bryant who’ll be 36 next year, Bighill, Collaros & Taylor all turning 34, Miller & Neufeld 33, Adams who’s stats have been declining for 4 years, will be 32. Harris turns 35 in a few months. Mitchell is 2 years younger than Collaros. Hang on too long & you can tank pretty easily. Calgary replaced a lot of players this year & suffered through it early. Winnipeg is at the end of a cycle. And yeah I would worry about Calgary. They’re 5-2 the last 7 games & have a good away record going into the playoffs. We’ll see what happens.
I’m not worried about Calgary and don’t think the Bombers will see them again this year after tomorrow. While your snapshot of some of the players ages may be true, it doesn’t factor in the all important equalizer, namely how good are the players? I haven’t heard anyone tell Willie Jefferson he’s too old. Unlike the past Winnipeg is now a desirable destination for free agents. The Bombers can replace whomever they need relatively easily when they think it is necessary. There is no easier league in which to retool a team quickly than the CFL, Vegas Golden Knights aside. Ottawa was a contender immediately and won a Grey Cup unreasonably quickly. It’s all about management and scouting and identifying and attracting the best players, with some cred given to the Canadians you have, often through the draft. I would agree that given Zach’s age the Bombers need to obtain a future replacement QB no later than next year and groom him over the next couple of years.
That’s true, Jon, teams are retooled every year but continuity is important. The Bombers this year basically have the same front 7. Look at the rest of the West. BC had a completely new front 7 & added 1 to the OL which was awful last year. Calgary lost 2 All-Stars on OL, 4 new on front 7. Edm 3 rookies to start @LB before Moncrief plus 2 new on DL, only 2 returnees on OL, Riders only returnee is Clark, lost 3 All-Stars & All Cdn on front 7 from last year. Bombers on both sides of LOS very healthy compared to everyone else. Results are obvious. Watered down competition. I didn’t mention Jefferson. He’s 30 & should have a couple more years. But once you hit 33 you’re on borrowed time, QB’s & kickers the exception. Is Winnipeg a destination point? No more than anywhere else. They tried to get Burnham, offered Begelton more money as they did with Burnham. All those veterans help a lot this year when you had so many teams lose talent because of COVID, retirements etc… As for Calgary - check it out. In the past 7 seasons, including 2021, Calgary has lost one game to Riders in Regina. They play well there. I think the Stamps have an excellent chance to see the Bombers in Winnipeg for the final. Barring injury, I think Collaros has got a lot of time left though. I’m not saying the Bombers can’t repeat, Jon. but they have some BIG decisions come off season. Same goes for the TiCats. An old team who is seeing the results this year. Should have been replacing parts already. Too many expensive old veterans got old really quick after missing a year IMO.
I agree that the Bombers had great continuity this year. That is obviously becoming much more difficult with the prevalence of one year contracts. They also had an advantage in a pandemic year, as I have said before, because they have the best chance of getting their players the $24,000 Grey Cup bonus. Much more important when players are making pro rated salaries because of only 14 games. Still, the Bombers are a desirable destination for many players for many reasons, including O’Shea and Hall being loved by the players and the fact they have a great team and a great facility. The Bombers historically have never been the #1 choice for most players. As a Bonber fan I hope the current situation continues.
Begelton potentially coming to the Bombers has been mentioned before in a post, maybe even by you. I have heard nothing about that in Winnipeg and someone else said the same thing. I am curious to know more so if you have any details please let us know.
I reviewed Bombers injuries in a previous post and determined they were middle of the pack in the league for severity. They played the first half of the year with 6-8 defensive starters healthy. That has improved and of course they have kept Collaros healthy, with I believe only Sask and Fajardo being the only other team with a healthy QB all year.
It’s of course too early to predict what personnel challenges the Bombers or any other team will have this off-season, but older team or not, I like where they are now. I also have heard many say that there is watered down competition this year. I’m not so sure that is the case. I think the Bombers management has excelled over other management the last few years. That certainly has not always been the case. Success is often cyclical and involves many factors including scouting, management decisions, injuries and luck. I don’t expect the Bombers to remain at the top forever or the Elks to remain at the bottom.
I don’t have a horse in the WSF but I think the Stamps have to play very well to win, which they may do. If I was a Stamps fan I would be concerned about the home field advantage, which is very tangible. IG Field and Mosaic are so loud that it can be very difficult for the offense to hear play calls, especially late in a close game.